Firing Brewster was the right decision. His conference record was .222 and nonconference record was .500. His marquee loss was to the South Dakota Coyotes during Week 2 of the 2010 season. Brewster was able to get Minnesota to the Insight Bowl twice (2008, 2009) during his 3 ½ years, but both games ended in losses. Minnesota is a tough assignment but not a place where it’s impossible to win and recruit. The university has a new stadium, is located in a large metro area, has no in-state competition for recruits, and has a large alumni base. With hard work, strong leadership, and some luck, the Golden Gophers could find their way into the Top 25 in the next few years.
Todd Dodge 6-37 (3-23)
When Dodge took over the program at North Texas, the program was coming off of two dismal seasons. Dodge never was able to make much improvement only winning 3 conference games in his 3 ½ years at North Texas. The Mean Green never finished better than 2-10 under his direction. During the 2010 season, North Texas was plagued heavily by injuries early in the season and never had a chance to rebound. The Mean Green had ten starters injured (nine season-ending) after their third game. Dodge has proven to be an elite high school coach, but the high school level and college level are two different beasts.
Dan Hawkins 19-39 (10-27)
Dan Hawkins tenure started out rotten and ended rotten. In his first game as head coach, the Buffs lost to FCS Montana State. He was never able to guide the program to a better-than-.500 season. Hawkins had a .074 winning percentage in games not played at Folsom Field or Invesco Field at Mile High. The last straw was on November 6th when Colorado blew a 28 point lead in the fourth quarter over Kansas. The Jayhawks won 52-45. This was the biggest meltdown in the history of Buffaloes football. The writing was on the wall that Dan Hawkins could not bring Colorado back to its 1990 glory days. The university should have taken out the trash after the 2009 season.
Doug Martin 29-53 (21-35)
Doug Martin resigned after seven seasons leading the Golden Flashes. A 29-53 may look bad on paper, but when considering the support the football program gets from the university and the fact that Martin has the best winning percentage at Kent State since Glen Mason coached the Golden Flashes in 1986 and 1987, Martin was doing a pretty good job with the resources he had. The football team shares a weight room with all of the other athletic teams. Kent State’s football program has the smallest recruiting budget in the MAC. Doug Martin was the lowest-paid head coach out of all FBS programs in 2010. Martin’s best record in his seven seasons was 6-6 in 2006. Consider that four of Doug Martin’s seven seasons had five wins. Since 1972, the Golden Flashes have won five games in a season just 12 times. I’m not sure Darrell Hazell will be able to do much better at one of the toughest coaching assignments in the FBS.
Stan Parrish 6-19 (5-11)
Stan Parrish was rightfully fired after going 6-19 as head coach at Ball State. Parrish was Brady Hoke’s offensive coordinator before taking over as head coach when Brady Hoke darted to San Diego State. After Ball State’s amazing 12-2 2008 season, the Cardinals fell back to below average for Parrish’s two full seasons at the helm. The Cardinals went from double digits wins to double digit losses between the 2008 and 2009 seasons. While the job in Muncie is not an easy one, the Cardinals laid some eggs under Parrish: losing to a FCS school in 2009 and 2010, losing to an Eastern Michigan team that was on an 18-game losing streak.
Robbie Caldwell 2-10 (1-7)
Vanderbilt head coach Bobby Johnson retired less than two months before the 2010 season, and the Commodores needed a head coach that knew the program ASAP. Robbie Caldwell was thrown into the fire. Caldwell went 2-10 like Johnson did in 2009. He decided to not stay. Perhaps, Caldwell could have had some success in the long term, but Vanderbilt made it clear they needed to get a flashy name to start some buzz in Commodore football again and turn the page on the Bobby Johnson. Vanderbilt is the toughest place to build a winning program in the SEC. It is likely Ron Franklin will not be able to do much better than Caldwell, but at least fresh leadership will attract recruits and reinvigorate the fan base.
Randy Shannon 28-22 (16-16)
Randy Shannon did not meet the high expectations that University of Miami has for its football team. The last five head coaches winning percentages at Miami were: .800 (Coker), .718 (Davis), .875 (Erickson), .852 (Johnson), and .719 (Schnellenberger). Randy Shannon’s: .560. Add to that the fact that the Hurricanes never won their division or a bowl game in Shannon’s four years. Four of the previous five Miami head coaches won national championships. Losing to Florida State, 45-17, falling to South Florida, 23-20 in overtime, and a loss to a rebuilding Virginia team made getting rid of Shannon necessary. However, Shannon did get players to attend classes and stay out of trouble. The moniker Thug U was nonexistent during the Shannon years. While Shannon did not have the winning percentage or resume of his predecessors, he bled Miami green and orange and acted like a father figure to many of his players. Miami has lost ground to other programs in recent years and Al Golden, a hire from outside the program, may not be the answer.